As one of my most popular in-game race cars from Gran Turismo I was heavily excited to finally come close to an NSX. Of course the street car wouldn't be as fast as the famous Castrol, Takata, Rayberg and Kenwood livered race cars we know from Gran Turismo or the GT Masters Series posters and so on. But is it still that great like the journalists have promised us back in the 90’s? And is it still a good driving car three decades later?
Walking towards that 80’s inspired, bit wedge-shaped car made me have goosebumps. The proportions are very unique, that long tailed rear end with the integrated brake light in the decent spoiler and the pop-up headlights are making this car endlessly cool.
It can’t even get any better than having the opportunity to drive the coupe and targa versions back-to-back. For sure this rare, manually gated original midnight-purple factory painted NSX-T stands out. Statistically, just about 70 have ever been made with tan interior. Breaking it down to the 260 cars that were delivered to Switzerland this is the only one in this exact specification. The owner told me that he knows about a second midnight-purple NSX-T in Switzerland. But with black interior.
What it’s all about
Simple: sporty and pleasurable driving. I immediately felt at home. Because having a mid-engined sports car with rear-wheel-drive the handling feels utterly great due to the excellent weight balance. This makes quick cornering so much fun. The steering is direct, the NSX nimble. So Ayrton Senna made sure only to accept high quality driving.
I’m sure the Honda would definitely work as a daily driven car. Because the amount of 280-ish horsepower is predictable and enough to have some proper fun. Due to a long first gear ratio the NSX does not like very low RPM (below 1’500). Traffic jam might not be funny. Otherwise it’s pretty easy to drive it through cities.
But the car truly feels at home in the countryside. This is where is comes to life. The late VTec kick gives the car some characteristics of a naturally aspirated car.
The clutch pedal has a perfect strength to provide some sportiness. The clutch is nothing to worry about either. Just drives like a normal car. Short and crisp shifting feels amazing. Reminds me to gearboxes Lotus uses.
Lotus as a link: The NSX is somehow a pretty similar car: Two seats, driver orientated, mid-engine, V6, removable roof and a trunk behind the engine. Which is just bigger that a Lotus’s trunk and has space of two sport bags and a backpack. So your beloved wifey is able to bring along more cloths for your annual expanded weekend trip. Can it get anything better?
To the interior
When you have your first time sitting in an NSX, or even a Japanese car, you recognize the two with buttons packed modules on each side of the steering wheel. Something you need to get used to. It’s like an addition having some sort of multi-functional steering wheel. Just without the wheel. The functions located in the centre console only belong to the radio and the air condition. But honestly, I didn’t try it all out. My preferences were on the driving experience. And that probably was the designer’s idea by designing and creating this interior. It soaks you into your seat between the lifted centre console and the doors. The windshield feels very flat and has been moved further to the front. The electric seats seem a bit in a wrong place to me. Of course it was a selling aspect back in the days. But I’d rather have some light bucket seats in the NSX. Although they are pretty good and comfortable.
One of the best aspects of owning a Japanese sports car is the solid technology and mechanics they used for their drivetrains. Everything works is intended for a long period of time. Same for the 3.0 and 3.2 V-Tec V6 used in the Honda NSX. Standard maintenance like timing belt replace and oil changes keeps this good boy alive. The owner told that he never had any problems with one of his two NSXs he bought in 1991 and 1995.
Now what to buy
An NSX! Or better not. Otherwise their prices might increase even more and it becomes even less affordable.
Jokes aside. Get one of these if you like Japanese 90s design and kind of puristic driving without too much power. I almost thought about not bringing them back to the owner. It’s just such an adorable feeling of driving. Rather addictive. It’s just very great. There’s literally nothing to add. Maybe some tuning like lower suspension and some proper three-piece rims to let the car shine like he deserves to.
Well, I might have fallen in love.